The Lost Colony Series by Jo Grafford

Jo is a mega reader of all genres and loves to indulge in marathon showings of Big Bang Theory, NCIS, and Castle. Her favorite books are rich in Colonial and Elizabethan history, romance, strong women, alpha males, Native Americans, and creatures from the paranormal - an occasional dragon, vampire, or time traveler.

From St. Louis, Missouri, Jo moves a lot with her soldier husband. She has lived in the Midwest, the deep South, and now resides in Bavaria. Jo holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, college finance instructor, and high school business teacher. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter, and the Writers Group of Ansbach/Katterbach/Illesheim.

Twitter: @jografford
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Intelligent and well ahead of her times, ROSE PAYNE'S world is shattered after a secret betrothal to the duke’s son costs her job as a clerk in his father's household. Without a letter of recommendation, she becomes an easy target for recruiters to the Colonies. Desperate for work, she signs up for a risky overseas venture and sails for the New World, vowing never again fall for a wealthy gentleman.

Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, CHIEF MANTEO is bewitched by the elusive, fiery-haired ship clerk and determined to overcome her distrust. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – a plan he prays will protect her from a chilling conspiracy involving murder, blood money, and a betrayal of their fledgling colony so terrifying it can only be revealed in BREAKING TIES.

Special Note: BREAKING TIES is the never-before-told rest of the story of the Lost Colony.

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Jane Mannering can shoot a rifle and handle a knife as well as any Englishman. However, she is no match for the red-painted warriors who ambush her section of a Colonial caravan the moment she and her comrades reach the shores of Virginia.

Jane plots their escape during a forced march inland, leaving a trail of maltese crosses carved on the trees – their pre-agreed upon signal of distress. All the while, she fumes over what interest their captors could possibly have in a twenty-three-year-old spinster and a rugged band of brick masons, sawyers, and farmers.

When the ruthless Chief Wanchese intercepts them at the crossroads of the Great Trading Path, Jane is shaken to discover their greatest enemy plans to keep her for himself. It’s a pity he’s the only man on two continents who’s ever stirred her heart. Alas, she has an entire colony to save, and capturing his attentions is not part of their escape plan.

Special Note: The Lost Colony Series is the never-before-told rest of the story of the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island.

Q) What's your background with writing?
I wrote short stories for contests as a kiddo, penned my first mystery novel in a spiral bound notebook as a teen, edited my high school newspaper and typeset for a local news journal, and also wrote training curriculum for every corporation I ever worked for as an adult. I finally realized all roads lead to writing! J

Q) What inspired you to write this story/series?
An obsession with finding answers to one of the world’s most intriguing unsolved mysteries
A wish to find the individuals listed on one of the world’s largest missing persons reports

Q) How long did it take you to write? 
BREAKING TIES (book one in the Lost Colony Series) was a little over five years in the making due to massive amounts of research. This includes poring over original ship manifests, sailing journals, and ancient church registries as well as a trip to Fort Raleigh itself on Roanoke Island. TRAIL OF CROSSES (book two) took only about four months to write, because all the research was completed during book one. I just committed to my local writing group in Ansbach, Germany that I will pound out the rough draft for book three INTO THE MAIN in November of this year as part of the National Novel Writing Month challenge.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing? 
Every part of writing a novel from rough draft to revisions.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing? 
Marketing the finished product. I’d much rather just start writing my next novel. I definitely see a publicist / marketing team in my future. J

Q) Who are your inspirations/influences?
I think reading the classics has greatly shaped my writing style. So has reading Nora Roberts – LOVE her books, including her J.D. Robb In Death Series. On the YA end, I’m a mega Twihard – Team Jacob if you must know. I’m also a big fan of many shows: NCIS, Supernatural, Big Bang Theory, Castle, and the list goes on and on and on…

Q) As authors, we tend to put our emotions into our writings, do you ever feel at times drained from writing one of your stories because of the emotional impact it may have?
Definitely. I laugh, cry, celebrate and mourn along with my characters. I even dream some of the scenes in full Kodak color.

Q) What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as a writer?
Getting that first book published! You never forget the feeling of holding that first printed book in your hands.
Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why? 
Nora Roberts. I’d love to sit at her desk where she’s written over one hundred bestselling romance titles and just soak up the inspiration flowing through her veins. I wouldn’t mind delving into one of the most creative minds of the century while I’m at it on the topics of style, craft, voice, and technique.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? 
A year-old bottle of caramel syrup for drizzling over ice cream. Sugar never goes bad, right?

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future? 
LOTS more historical romance to include a new series set in the roguish world of one of the most romantic groups of all times – the Vikings!

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